American troops are turning the Philippines into a battlefield

This article is available in Pilipino

Thousands of American troops and their vehicles landed in the country even before Balikatan began. At least 400 military vessels from the US Indo-Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii were offloaded from large ships in Subic Bay in March. On April 1, the US conducted combat maneuvers in Philippine waters with Australian and Japanese warships and small Philippine vessels. In the following days, the US even boasted of unilateral live-fire missile exercises, jetfighter flights and other military maneuvers within the country’s air and seas.

Also on April 1, the five-day military meeting began at Camp Aguinaldo where the AFP shared the Philippines’ sensitive and internal security information with the US military in what was called the first “Information Warfare Exercise.”

Three major war games opened simultaneously on April 8: Cope Thunder held at Central and Northern Luzon airports; MAREX 2024 in Maguindanao del Norte; and Salaknib 2024 at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

In its early years in the 1990s, the Balikatan were bilateral “military exercises” to achieve for “interoperability” between the US armed forces and the puppet AFP. Since the US “pivot” to Asia, the US has opened it, as well as the sovereign territory of the Philippines, to other foreign troops. In the upcoming Balikatan, 14 other countries (Brunei, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) will take part or observe the US exhibition.

Thus, Balikatan and other US war games also serve as a huge arms expo where it showcases the weapons made by the monopoly American military companies. This year, the operation of the Israeli missile defense system being peddled by the US was made part of the Balikatan.

American troops are turning the Philippines into a battlefield